The hunt for EastEnders’ new Johnny Carter is over, as new actor Ted Reilly has been cast in the role.
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Bosses announced they were bringing back the youngest child of Mick and Linda Carter (Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright) earlier this month, but would be recasting the part after previous actor Sam Strike turned down the chance to reprise the part.
Little-known actor Ted will now take over the part, when Johnny returns to Walford later this year.
Speaking of his new role, Ted said: "I’m truly delighted to be joining such an iconic show. The Carters are a fantastic family and I can’t wait to get started!”
Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “Johnny is a key member of the Carter family and he's been missing over the past year and a half, when so much has happened to the Carters.
"As the family embark on their next big storyline to take them through 2016, it felt wrong not to have Johnny back to play a big part in that - and learn everything that has happened while he has been away...
"We have so much in store for Johnny and so many stories to tell and, after massive casting sessions and recalls with Danny and Kellie, we have found in Ted not only a brilliant actor, but the perfect Johnny Carter.”
Fans may recognise Ted from small roles in ‘Call The Midwife’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Grantchester’, and he has also starred in a number of West End productions.
Johnny was last seen on screen in December 2014, when he left with boyfriend Gianluca to live in Rome. He also missed the Christmas Day revelation that his mum, Linda, had been raped by Dean Wicks and the bombshell that Shirley wasn’t his auntie but his grandma.
Sam also spoke about his reasons not to return, telling Digital Spy: “I wasn't ready to return any time in the near future.
"I hope they find lots for Johnny to do and give him lots of stories, and the new actor can have the adventure with Johnny that I would've liked to have before he became stale,” he added.
The character was best known for his emotional coming out scene, where he told dad Mick that he was gay, which won praise from fans and critics alike.